Chester Conklin

Chester Conklin


Chester Conklin
Film: East side of the 1500 block of Vine Street
Actor | Comedian
Born Jan. 11, 1886 in Oskaloosa, IA
Died Oct. 11, 1971 in Motion Picture and Television Country House, CA

Chester Conklin gained silent screen fame as the Keystone Kop with the walrus mustache.

He father had wanted him to become a minister but after an audience applauded him at a childhood comic recital, he decided "I just want to make people laugh."

Conklin took a clown's job in the circus, and in the winter of 1912, while the circus was quartered in Venice, he applied for work with Mack Sennett.

His mustache, a radical departure from the spike mustaches worn by most comedians of the day, was an instant laugh getter and he was paid $3 a day to start.

Conklin starred in several Sennett comedies, as well as in Gloria Swanson's film "The Pullman Bride" and in W.C. Fields' "Two Flaming Youths."

He retired in 1960—"Work got awfully scarce," he said — and came back briefly in 1966 to make "A Big Hand for the Little Lady."

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